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Leaving a legacy: What the book of Hebrews has taught me about the kind of mother I want to be

Hebrews 11 is a chapter in Scripture that many of us are familiar with. At any conference that talks about faith, this chapter is likely to be brought up. This chapter holds a list of those who have lived lives of faith, and we are encouraged in the book of Hebrews to emulate their faith and follow in their footsteps.

But as I look closer at Chapter 11, I have seen something new. While I am familiar with the words of Hebrews chapter 11, I am less familiar with some of the characters included in the list of the faithful. There are some that I clearly recognize: Abraham and Sarah, king David, and others. But there are plenty that I’m less familiar with. And as I have studied these names closely as I prepared to write the Legacy of the Faithful for the Bible Study Schoolhouse, God has taught me something fresh about the kind of mother that I want to be. 

Hebrews 11 teaches us about many characters who live lives of faithfulness. But when we look closely at their lives, it wasn’t always extraordinary acts of faith that they are remembered for. Some of these characters lived daily lives of ordinary faithfulness, and they are remembered as heroes of the faith for that faithfulness. They weren’t doing extraordinary things for God, but we’re ordinary people living daily lives that displayed a reliant trust in God, and that trust is what includes them in the legacy of the faithful. 

I used to think that I had to go “out there “in order to do something big for God, but through a close study of Hebrews 11 I’ve been reminded that I can be included in the legacy of the faithful as I live a life of faith right where God has me. Right now, he has me at home with my two little girls, wiping mouths and sticky hands, changing diapers, reading and re-reading endless board books, putting caps back on markers for the hundredth time on any given day. This work does not seem extraordinary, and some days it’s hard for me to see how this leaves any kind of faithful legacy. Does this work require faith? Is it a faithful task to put caps back on markers? This is where the book of Hebrews has challenged me: as I live my daily life oriented towards God, leaning on him in faith for everything that he has called me too, I am joyfully included in the legacy of the faithful. Just as God used ordinary men and women in generations past to point others to him, I share their call as I point my little ones in ordinary, everyday kind of ways to Jesus. 

Hebrews 11 used to intimidate me as the “hall of faith,” as I have coined it. It seems like a list so far beyond my reach! It felt like a group of people I would never be qualified to be a part of. But how very wrong I was! And what a joy it is to know that I can be faithful right where I am, in these ordinary days of raising little ones, and be included in the legacy of the faithful.

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